If you own property in New Jersey, some governmental entities have the right to take your property through the process of eminent domain. They might want to clear your land to make room for a highway, park, public building or another form of development. Through eminent domain, they have the right to take your land as long as they pay you the current market value.
Can eminent domain be stopped?
The government has the right to seize your property through eminent domain. However, you also have the right to fight this decision in court. If you don’t want to lose your property, an attorney can often help you contest the government’s decision.
To win the case, the government might have to prove that taking your property will benefit the public in some way. For example, they might argue that they need your land so they can build another road, easing congestion on the highway. The government might also have to prove that they need all the land that they’ve requested. If they don’t need your entire property to build the public space, you might be able to keep some of your land.
The government also has to follow the procedures that are outlined in state laws. If they violate your rights in any way, your attorney might be able to use that against them in court. Additionally, the government must be taking the land in “good faith,” not as punishment or retaliation for a crime.
You can also argue about the amount of compensation. However, disagreeing on the amount that the government offered won’t stop the process of eminent domain. Ultimately, the court might decide how much money you should receive for your land.
How can you challenge eminent domain?
The legal process is so complex that it’s best to meet with an attorney when you find out that the government wants to seize your land. An attorney could help you challenge the process and possibly stop it altogether.